India has its fair share of talented authors. They have written influential and powerful books which have touched the lives of millions and had been pivotal in bringing changes to society. Indian writers have been able to march their way in and establish themselves as important contributors to English Literature.
With that in mind here are some of the best-selling Indian novels. The list is not ranked. Some of the novels have been released recently while others are all-time bestsellers.
Here is the list of 15 Best Indian Novels:
Raavan: The Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish Tripathi
If you are following Amish Tripathi’s Ramchandra Series then the latest addition to it is ‘Raavan: The Enemy of Aryavarta’. It is Amish’s take on the mythical king of Lanka, Raavan.
Raavan is one of the strongest, fiercest, and knowledgeable villains in Hindu Mythology. After completing the Shiva Trilogy, Amish took to shedding light on the story of Lord Ram in his Ramchandra Series.
This book is the third instalment after Scion of Ikshavaku and Sita. Raavan is a teenage pirate who has been blessed with power and knowledge by the Gods. He thinks that greatness is his right and will stop at nothing to conquer what he thinks is his. Amish breaks down the life of this complex man who will become one of the greatest villains in history.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Up next is one of the best books to be ever written in English Literature. Midnight’s Children is written by British Indian author Salman Rushdie. Rushdie was born on 18 June 1947 in India.
In this book, he uses magical realism (a recurring narrative tool used by the author) to talk about the problems faced by the nation. The story follows a boy named Saleem Siani who was born precisely at midnight on the eve of Independence.
He soon finds out that he can telepathically connect to 1000 other children who were born during 12:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M on the night of Independence. He soon connects to them to discuss the problems faced by the still-young nation. The book documents his life as he lives through various disasters and triumphs.
The Guide by R. K. Narayan
The Guide is one of the most famous works by Indian Author R. K. Narayan. His humour and unique writing style had been successful in telling decent and powerful stories. The Guide follows the life of Railway Raju who is a corrupt man.
He is always ready to swindle people and lives by his wits. He works as a tourist guide and falls in love with a dancer. He is able to seduce her and takes her away from her husband who is a writer.
Raju is then able to turn her into a celebrity as important people court her and line up to see her performances. But Raju’s life has many ups and downs as he is able to become rich but soon loses all his fortune and lands in jail.
In an unexpected turn of events, he ends up becoming a great holy man. But it is not just a suspenseful story about a man’s life it poses vital questions about the country and people.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy. It had been her only novel for a long time until her second novel was published in 2017.
The God of Small Things won the Booker Prize in 1997 and is regarded as one of the best modern books. The story is set in Kerala and talks about the caste system and the political unrest.
It follows the life of twin siblings, Estha and Rahel, as they experience unexpected events which turn their lives upside down and shape their, family relative and the state they live in. One should read this book if they are intrigued by political commentary.
One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat
Chetan Bhagat is easily one of the most recognized authors of modern India. Love him or hate him he has written successful books which have entertained millions of Indians. Many of his books have been transformed into successful Bollywood films. This book, One Indian Girl, is Chetan’s attempt to bring you the story of a modern Indian girl.
Most of his books are written from the point of view of a man but in this one, he attempts to write from the point of view of a girl named Radhika Mehta who is a successful woman working at Goldman Sachs and earning lots of money. She had been in two relationships and is due to be married in a week. It is another Indian story containing the entertaining flavour of Chetan’s style.
Dalal’s Street by Anurag Tripathi
Dalal’s Street is one of the recent books on the market and has been written by Indian author Anurag Tripathi. The book is already making some buzz so why not give it a try. The book is set in the backdrop of the share market.
It follows a group of young Indians who are fresh out of business school and are attracted to high paying jobs in the trading business. But this world is full of lies, competition, and backstabbing. And to be fair those are important pillars of success and survival in this ultra-competitive world.
The book is a dark humour which follows the lives of a group of friends as they enter into this dark world where everything is guided by the rise and fall of shares and everyone is trying to outbid the other.
Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
Amish Tripathi is one of the most famous Indian authors. He rose to prominence with his book Immortals of Meluha, the first book of his Shiva Trilogy. The three-part series follows the life of Shiva, a warrior, who through his actions and way of living life became immortal and came to be revered as a God.
The trilogy has three books. The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of Nagas, and The Oath of Vayuputras. Each book trying to tell the tale of the man who became a God. Amish incorporates both history and mythology in his stories to make things interesting and real. His books are all about looking at things we have been told for generations from a different perspective.
Three Thousand Stitches By Sudha Murthy
Sudha Murthy is a famous Indian author. She has been closely linked with various NGOs and has helped establish multiple orphanages and has participated in various movements to bring about a positive change in the Indian Society.
In this book, she talks about her experiences while working with Infosys Foundation. She has been giving back to society for a long time and has encountered hundreds of people who though ordinary lead extraordinary lives through their actions. The book mirrors the Indian society and gives an account of both the good and dark side of human nature.
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
A Suitable Boy is the most notable work of Indian author Vikram Seth. It is one of the best books about Indian society and culture. You do need some patience to read this book as it is 1500 pages but it is worth it.
The book is set in post-independent India and talks about various characters. Each chapter deals with different characters and slowly links them together. One of the main characters of the novel is Lata Mehra whose mother and brother are pressuring her to get married.
They are searching for ‘A Suitable Boy’ who will meet the family standards to marry Lata. The book talks about how marriage in India is a family affair and each member plays an important role in that.
The book also highlights in detail the problems that plagued the Indian society like the caste system, the zamindari system, and the tension between the Hindus and the Muslims. It is great book giving us a deep look into the society we live in.
Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai
Anita Desai’s novel Fasting, Feasting deals with a small and typical Indian family where the education of boy is very important and no stone is left unturned in order to guarantee the best education for the boy child. The main character of the novel is Uma.
Uma was never good at school and she is made to leave her studies and help her parents in running the household. She is unmarriageable and lives at home where she is smothered by her mother and sister. Her sister Aruna gets married and Arun, her brother, is sent to Massachusetts to pursue his education. The novel shows the difference in the life of families in two completely different places.
Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Though Jhumpa Lahiri is not an Indian and most of her works depicts the lives of people of Indian origin leaving abroad or at some point of time have to leave their country and live abroad. This is the reason her novel has been included in this list.
Namesake tells the tale of an Indian family who lives in the American suburbs. The main character of the novel is Gogol who has been named after his father’s favourite author. But as he grows up he soon starts to dislike his name and wants to throw it away along with the values it represents.
He also wants to lead a life away from that of his parents. The book tells the story of self-discovery wherein one realizes that to discover one’s own identity is depended on more things than their name.
Everyone Has A Story by Savi Sharma
Savi Sharma has become one of the popular Indian Writers. Her bestselling novel, ‘Everyone Has A Story’ is next on the list. It tells the tale of four different people and tries to intertwine them beautifully. Meera is a young author who is hoping to write a story which will touch the hearts of millions of people.
Kabir is a cafe manager who wants to have something of his own, then there’s Vivian an employee at Citibank who wants to travel the world and then there’s Nisha, a customer at Kabir’s cafe, who has her own secrets. The lives of these four people come together as they share their story and explore ideas of love and friendship.
Train to Pakistan by Khuswant Singh
Khuswant Singh has to be one of the most prolific of Indian writers. Train to Pakistan is one of his most famous and important works. It is an account of the events during the partition of India that led to hundreds and thousands of deaths and multiple violent riots.
The novel is set in Mano Majra which is a village that radiates peace and harmony even in the wake of the partition. There are both Sikh and Muslim population in the village. Trouble ensues when a train arrives at the village filled with bodies of Sikhs and Hindus.
Riots soon ensue with Hindus and Sikhs being on one side and Muslims on the other. Juggut Singh is an ex-criminal who is suspected of murdering a money-lender. In addition to this, he is in love with a Muslim girl.
It is up to him and Iqbal, a western-educated Muslim fellow to save their village from massacring itself all the while clearing his name. It is also a tale of love beyond all bounds.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Vikrant Khanna
Vikrant Khanna is a best-selling Indian author who has written multiple books. One of his best-selling novels is ‘The Girl Who Knew Too Much’. It is a story about a girl, Akshara, who is saddened by the death of her mother.
She meets a man named Harry who tries to console her by telling her a story about a girl is reunited with her dead boyfriend. Akshara feels better and wonders she will ever meet her dead mother. But she soon begins to doubt this as she finds the characters in Harry’s story to be dubious. What is he hiding? Is there any truth to his story? Who is he?
Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh is a popular Indian author who has written multiple best-selling books. Shadow Lines is a famous book by the author. It talks about lines or borders that are important in bringing people together or pulling them apart.
These lines are visible from one person’s persepectives while someone else is not able to see it. The protagonist of the novel grows up in Calcutta and receives his education in Delhi.
He then moves to London and recounts his experiences. The novel is divided into two parts one of his going away and another of him coming back. It is a powerful novel which touches on various important political events which shaped societies.